so i went back to the Blue Marsh Stilling Basin (my secret spot!) to catch more trout. (this was two days after i caught the three trout i posted earlier) i fished for a little over two hours with nothing to show for it. i was getting discouraged and frustrated (largely because i was so proud of my performance a few days before, i just expected
to catch fish). but i didn't. lines got stuck and had to be cut. bait was stollen. and numerous fish were hooked and then lost before i could land them. of course, as the day went on i began to pray prayers like, "just let me catch one fish...just one fish...please!!" in hind sight that wasn't the prayer i should have been praying. and because i hadn't learned anything, nothing changed on the fishing scene.
as the hours passed i soon began to think that i might not catch anything...and it was surprisingly alright. i really believe God allowed me to recognize my prideful attitude and focus on my sin issue rather than my "lack-of-fish" issue. i remembered that the three trout i caught two days ago were a gracious gift from GOD, not "good luck," or because i am such a great fisherman (i'm really not). i remembered that every good gift comes to me straight from his kind, loving and gracious hands--even the gift of being alive at that moment.
i remember feeling wonderfully convicted of my pride and selfish attitude. "wonderful" because i knew that God was speaking to me. and it wasn't condeming or hostle. it was a kind reminder of God's constant and unceasing goodness and watchful kindness towards me. the hardest part to recieve was that it was true (the "prideful" and "selfish" part). and after i confessed my pride and selfishness, and prayed to thank God for what had just happened, it didn't even matter that i hadn't caught any fish! i felt a strong sense of gratitude towards God for...everything! my sinful thoughts had been challenged...my perspective was reset...and gratefulness soared within my soul.
it was so peaceful and quiet there at the water's edge that i didn't want to leave right away. so, i walked along the shoreline, thinking about the change of heart that God had just brought about in me. i walked for a few minutes to a bend in the shore where there were some bigger rocks entering the water. i stopped to look around. there was no one else there. it was nice.
suddenly i heard a light thrashing by my feet. i looked down. a few feet away from me, wedged in some rocks was a fish...a pretty big fish. it was spinning and rolling as if it was trying to get free of something. i moved closer and grabbed it. it was a walleye...i had heard a lot about walleye's from local fishermen. they were a prized catch. the walleye kicked but not very hard--seemed like it had been struggling for a little while. on closer inspection i saw that it was not hooked in the mouth, nor was it snagged anywhere in it's body. i laughed in disbelief. somehow it had managed to get stuck in a loop of fishing line that was just a little smaller than the diameter of it's body, making it really snug. the fishing line was positioned a few inches behind the gill plate, rendering it's two pectoral fins and it's dorsal fin useless. for those of you who know fish, it couldn't swim upright, or foward with any kind of speed and direction, because it had no use of pectoral or dorsal fins. (on the second picture you can see a vertical line where the line rubbed into him) but it could still breathe and kick it's tail just fine. so...i guess it breathed and kicked it's way into the rocks.
i know this may sound hard to believe, but i actually felt sorry for it. so i freed it from the fishing line and attempted to release it. it tried to swim, but could not stop itself from spinning around. i moved it through the water to try and get water flowing through it's gills, but it wasn't enough. the walleye sunk to the bottom on it's side, still breathing but not moving. the fish doctor had failed. it wasn't going to make it.
let it be known that the fish doctor was not very sad when he saw that the walleye wasn't going to make it.=) "i guess i'll have to eat it," i thought to myself. so i took him home. all the while amazed at God's gracious life lesson's and faithful (and sometimes miraculous) provision. he measured 19 inches, and i estimate him to have been about 2.5...maybe 3 lbs. (didn't have a scale) i cleaned him and cooked him...and sandi and i both enjoyed him very much! i've included some pictures for you to see. thank you Jesus!!
a fierce predator...a gift from God:
God is very good, and he always provides...always!!